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168                                       FLORA  INDICA.
Indian side, separate the great rivers which flow towards the
plains of India, and which, successively uniting in their courses
through the plains, ultimately discharge their waters into the
Indus and Brahmaputra, from which they are at first sepa-
rated by the whole width of the chain of the Himalaya. The
great rivers from west to east are in succession—the Jelara,
the Ch'enab, the Ravi, the Beas, the Satlej, the Jumna, the
Ganges, the Gogra, the Gandak, the Cosi, the Tista, the Mo-
nas, and the Subansiri; all of these are separated by chains
at first of great elevation, but which terminate at last abruptly
in the plains of India. Some of these chains are now \vell ex-
plored, but others, especially those in Nipal and Bhotan, arc
still very imperfectly known. They vary a good deal in direc-
tion, some being almost perpendicular to the tnain axis, while
others^form with it a very acute angle. They all ramify very
much, giving off chains of the third order, separating the tri-
butaries of the great rivers.
The length of the chain of the Himalaya, from the Indus to
the Brahmaputra, maybe estimated at about 1400 miles, while
its width varies from 200 to 100 miles. Most of the lofty
peaks with which we are acquainted are situated on the se-
condary chains, but the mean height of the main axis is pro-
bably greater. The elevation of the secondary chains dimi-
nighcis,, on the whole, as they approach their termination in the
plains, though with a certain degree of irregularity. In length
these vary considerably, according to their direction, but we
must refer to the map for details of their structure, and ar-
rangement. It will be seen that their ramifications are innu-
merable \ their flanks are in general steep, and separate deep
valleys* Open plains arc rare, but occur occasionally at all
elevations, and there are a few inconsiderable lakes. The
mean slope of the Himalaya from the plains to the axis IB not
more than 1 iu 25, and the mean slope of the ridges of the
scondary chains, which are usually very oblique, and always
sinuous, must be considerably less. It is important to keep
in view these numbers, which servo to correct the erroneous